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1day in LA with children

Melbourne, Australia
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1day in LA with children

Hi , I'll be arriving in LA from Mexico at about 5 pm, then flying out to Australia on a late flight the next night . So, we have one day , it will be early October , and kids are 12, 8 , 4 yrs. Disneyland sounds too difficult for 1 day and only the eldest child would be wanting to go on roller coasters . Would anyone have any suggestions on how to get a good look at LA , and where to stay ? Is the Rasta Bus any good ? Thanks.

San Francisco...
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1. Re: 1day in LA with children

Good look at LA in one day ? What part of LA and what attraction ? Disney is NOT in LA but an hour south

Why don't you read the top questions on the right side and come up with a list if things you want to see and the locals can then help - with kids I don't know if you want to drag them around in a tour bus

IMHO I would stay in Santa Monica, do the pier and the beach, a few good restaurants and perhaps a shop or two and get to LAX the next evening

If you want to see LA then stay 3-4 days in LA and add a couple for Anaheim to do Disneyland

Also I want to clarify that you will be landing at LAX right ? I think it is clear to me and to the LA experts but one poster not based in the city and county of Los Angeles may get confused.

Manhattan Beach...
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2. Re: 1day in LA with children

I might try Universal Studios for the day. You get a studio tour, amusement park, shows, and shopping district all together. I think that there are a lot of shows and rides that would be OK for the whole age span.

Rancho Santa...
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3. Re: 1day in LA with children

What is your budget? Will you rent a car?

Santa Monica, CA
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4. Re: 1day in LA with children

For one day and with three children, I'd be apt to choose a hotel near the airport. Spend your day in Santa Monica; the kids will love it. It's 7 miles from LAX and roughly $35.00 cab ride, or you can take a bus. The pier is a big hit with youngsters of all ages (don't overlook the small aquarium beneath the pier). The 3rd St. Promenade and Main St. will be fun to stroll. In downtown Santa Monica is Tongva Park, a new park with a great children's section, especially the water feature they get to control. October tends to be our best, warmest weather, too, so pack the bathing suits!

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: 1day in LA with children

Thanks for all that. I won't be hiring a car , we will be coming and leaving from LAX , budget is not a priority . The beach sounds great , but my eldest wants to see the Hollywood sign too . Are there a few things around there that younger kids would be interested in ?Other posts say Universal studios is more suited to older kids .

Pasadena, California
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6. Re: 1day in LA with children

If the weather is good (a strong likelihood in October), a day at a beach community would be great. Your little ones will be suffering through two long flights-- so I'd sandwich a day with lots of physical activity in the middle. My first recommendation would be Santa Monica, as described above. I'd recommend renting bikes near the Pier, and riding north, with views of Malibu, or south, to Venice, or both. The ride will be along a dedicated bike path, right on the beach. Great views, lots of fun, places to stop for a burger or to play on the swings or watch characters on 'muscle beach' , etc.

Santa Monica is really an iconic part of Los Angeles-- much of it will look strangely familiar from movies, etc. And you are more likely to see "celebs" there, than in the dreary stretch of Hollywood Blvd where the tourists flock.

I'd tell the 12 year old a firm "NO" on the Hollywood sign. She may see it from the air, flying in or out, if she keeps her eyes open (ask the flight attendants). It is a great big nothing, in my opinion, and looks way better on postcards or on a tee-shirt that she can buy in Santa Monica or at LAX. It is one of those things (like many celebs) that is famous only for being famous. It is just some big wooden letters, originally put on a hillside to advertise a new housing development. Nobody took it down, and now its famous. Hollywood will mean that everyone will spend much more time sitting down on buses and trains-- and there isn't much fun to do once you get there.

Pasadena, California
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7. Re: 1day in LA with children

Exactly what time is your flight out of LAX? And is it on a weekend or a weekday? I'm not sure I'd rule out Disneyland; that day might mean a lot to the kids, if they have never been there. It really depends on how much time you'd be able to spend there. It is a drive from LAX, and the traffic can be very bad. And LAX is a mess, generally, so you'd need to allow PLENTY of time for your international flight.

If you do decide on Disney for a day, please stay in Anaheim near the park, so you can be there when the park opens in the morning.

Pasadena, California
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8. Re: 1day in LA with children

Lets assume your flight is at 10 pm.

You'll need to arrive at LAX @...7 or 7:30 pm?

From Disneyland to LAX could be as little as 40 minutes, or more than an hour.

If you grab a cab from Disneyland at 5:30, have the taxi stop at your hotel to get your bags from the front desk where you've hopefully been able to stash them, and then get on the freeway-- you SHOULD be at your terminal by 7 pm or earlier.

If you arrive at Disneyland gates by opening time (hopefully 8 am, perhaps 10 am, depending on the day), you'll have 7.5-9.5 hours in the park. If you do your research and get Fastpasses to a few important rides-- and are willing to forego some of the rides with 60-minute-plus lines-- and spend some time in activities that have little to no line-- you should be able to have a good day. I wouldn't think October would be a horribly busy time to visit, either. Many foreign visitors spend days at each park, but frankly, I think 8 hours is a good length of time. You won't see or ride everything, but you'll get a great taste and you won't be utterly exhausted, either. So, if it is in the budget and works with your schedule, give it some thought.

Disneyland isn't mostly about roller coasters. One reason it is so popular for all ages is that most rides are fantasy-oriented, and that it is more of a whole-experience park, with each "land" having a unique landscape and set of attractions. I'm not a big fan of theme parks, but Disneyland is undeniably special.

Edited: 27 January 2014, 21:59
Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: 1day in LA with children

Great info everyone, thanks. We'll get into LAX at 4.30pm the day before, and won't depart till 11.30pm the following day (not sure yet of exact dates, so don't know if it's a weekday or not). As well as the Santa Monica beach, pier , bike ride suggestions , we would probably have time for something else . Maybe ? Anything iconic the kids would enjoy ? We'll leave Disneyland for another time . Thanks.

Rancho Santa...
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10. Re: 1day in LA with children

Your really should rent a car for the 24 hours you are here. It will vastly simplify your time.

I would suggest visiting the Santa Monica Pier once you check into your hotel. Totally cheesy. Beautiful setting on the ocean. Kids love it.

The next morning, head to Expo Park just south of downtown adjacent to USC. There you will find the Natural History Museum and the California Science Center. Finish the day by heading to the Griffith Observatory. Simply take in the views from the roof where are a free to walk up. The Hollywood sign can be seen from here.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32655-d10…

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32655-d10…

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32655-d11…

If you don't have a car, you're best to enjoy Santa Monica for the day. (You could visit the Getty Center which is in Brentwood.) I wouldn't recommend taxis. Uber is a new service which is simply excellent. (I assume you have a smart phone.) For your purposes, Uber would be convenient to ferry you around everywhere. The catch is it will cost you.

HTH